Illegal immigration has become a hotly debated issue lately. This is especially true after Donald Trump was elected president along with his pledges to crack down on illegal immigrants and enforce the country’s immigration laws. However, some cities claim the status of “sanctuary cities” that offer protection to illegal immigrants by sheltering them from federal immigration laws and offering other incentives. California already has several of these self proclaimed sanctuary cities. Now, the California Senate passed a bill that would make California a “sanctuary state.” The bill is now heading to the Democrat controlled State Assembly, and if approved, to the Governor.
Senate Bill 54 would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from helping in enforcing federal immigration laws. This law would greatly hinder the federal government’s efforts to combat illegal immigration and reduce the crime and costs that are associated with it. California lawmakers are clearly offering a direct challenge to President Trump’s authority to enforce federal law. However, this attempt at nullifying federal immigration law is not without risk.
President Trump has threatened to cut off federal funding to California if it passes a sanctuary state law. California receives over $350 billion each year from the federal government. The State of California, despite its high tax rates, is currently facing a serious budget crisis. California is a favorite destination to illegal immigrants who want to take advantage of all of its free publicly-funded programs. Encouraging millions of more lawbreakers to join the welfare roles will certainly strain California’s resources to the breaking point.